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InfoQ eMag: Infrastructure Configuration Management Tools


Infrastructure configuration management tools are one of the technical pillars of DevOps. They enable infrastructure-as-code, the ability to automate your infrastructure provisioning.

They also have a side-benefit as their successful adoption requires operations-related skills but also developers’ skills and, as such, can help to bring closer both teams.

How do these tools work? What real users have to say about these tools? Which one should you use in your context and scenarios? Are there alternative approaches to configuration management? With this eMag, InfoQ aims to shed light on these common questions.

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Contents of the Infrastructure Configuration Management Tools eMag include:

  • Ansible’s View on IT Automation - Michael DeHaan, creator of Ansible, introduces the IT automation system, its guiding goals and the philosophy behind its community. Michael uses a simple but common scenario to demonstrate Ansible.
  • Purely Functional Configuration Management with Nix and NixOS - The article introduces NixOS, a Linux distribution, and Nix, a package manager. These provide a declarative approach to configuration management, such as strong reproducibility and atomic upgrades.
  • SaltStack for Flexible and Scalable Configuration - Joseph Hall, SaltStack senior engineer, introduces the the remote execution and configuration management system and its guiding goals. Joseph uses a simple LAMP scenario to demonstrate SaltStack.
  • CFEngine’s Decentralized Approach to Configuration Management - Mark Burgess and Diego Zamboni introduce CFEngine. They describe the challenges regarding web scale - scale, complexity and knowledge - and how CFEngine helps to tackle those challenges.
  • Virtual Panel: Configuration Management Tools in the Real World - Configuration management tools are a hot topic on the DevOps community and IT organizations in general. InfoQ reached out to users of each of the major tools (Ansible, CFEngine, Chef, Puppet and SaltStack) to ask them about their experiences.
  • Book Review: Taste Test Second Edition and Q&A with Author Matt Jaynes - Taste Test, by Matt Jaynes, is a book that uses a simple scenario to compare Ansible, SaltStack, Chef and Puppet. InfoQ talked with Matt to know more about his thoughts on configuration management.

About InfoQ eMags

InfoQ eMags are professionally designed, downloadable collections of popular InfoQ content - articles, interviews, presentations, and research - covering the latest software development technologies, trends, and topics.